Many very successful choruses have been using Riser Tapes for years – and this is the year that my women’s chorus is going to start Riser mp3 Recordings. There’s a gradual way to introduce this, and our music team has decided that recording and self evaluation is the best first step.
Please keep in mind a couple of things.
If every choir member finds and corrects only one thing, it’ll make a huge difference to the overall quality of the choir’s singing.
And it may take a fair amount of courage to actually go through with this exercise. I don’t think there’s a singer on the planet who actually enjoys listening to recordings of himself or herself singing within a crowd of other singers. It’s rather like when as a joke, someone records you singing along to a song while you’re wearing headphones.
So be brave and strong and steadfast and you’ll sing better and better.
After recording yourself during the choir’s sing through of a song, and you’re listening to the sound file at home, here are ten questions you can ask yourself.
(I’m assuming that by the time the choir is singing the song all the way through, all the notes are right – because everyone has been working with the learning sound files at home, on their ipods and in their cars)
1. Am I breathing at all designated breathing spots?
2. When staggered breathing is necessary am I fading out, skipping a word or two, then gradually slipping my sound back into what my section is singing?
3. Do I start and end each phrase in tune?
4. Are there specific tuning problems that will need help from my section leader or director?
5. Are all target vowels clear?
6. Am I singing long enough on target vowels when the word has a diphthong?
7. Is the vocal production far enough forward and narrow enough? Are there notes, or passages where I’m going to need help with producing a clean, clear, rich sound?
8. Are any words popping out of the texture? (a, and, the, if, to, so, then, this, is….)
9. Does my performance seem to match what everyone else is doing?
10. Are my dynamics/emotions following the director or music team’s plan?